Dear Baby Sarah and The Fonz,
Do you guys know each other? Because you should.
Sarah, The Fonz is the best thing to ever happen to pomade and motorcycles.
Fonz, Sarah is a fifteen-month-old friend of mine who just got new thumbs so she could imitate you when you say "Aaaaaaaay."
I'm a great dabbler in self-pity and woe-is-me swooning, and I just want to thank you both for showing me the true art of overcoming obstacles, whether it's getting the jukebox back on track or learning how to hold a sippy cup. The Fonz was born with a newborn sized bomber jacket. Sarah was not. She was also born without thumbs, because of a genetic disease. The awesome doctors at Children's Hospital of Boston said, "No thumbs, no prob" (rough translation). One of the highlights of going on a book tour this fall was getting to meet and play with Sarah in all her opposable gripping splendor. Seriously, new thumbs?! She did an army crawl that gave my ankles windburn, not to mention her crooning into a small Casio. Thank you Sarah and Fonzie, for teaching me the simple joy and grace in each digit of my hand. In 2010, I hope to hitchhike for a good cause.
Speaking of good causes, I wanted to also thank some other amazing hurdlers who've done incredible work this past year...
Elissa Levy, president and founder of MS Hope for a Cure: talk about making soufflé out of limes. This woman was diagnosed with MS at age 33 and has used her condition to propel her forward. Raising funds for research and throwing the most non-pity-party galas in the name of charity. Check out her organization and sign up for a newsletter so you can be on board for the yearly poker tournament.
Leigh Hurst: another revolutionary I admire. Her organization is called Feel Your Boobies and it started when she did just that. She has been disease-free for a number of years now, but that doesn't mean she has abandoned others who deal with breast cancer. She initially made a t-shirt for her friends and family who helped her through her initial diagnosis and treatment. It was supposed to be a joke. It wound up sparking worldwide attention, making it hip for under-forties to talk about and take care of their bodies. Thank you, Leigh.
Louis T. was an amazing man, with a laugh that shook me upside down and enough pinup posters to start a forest fire. Sadly, Louis passed away a few years ago from complications with Cystic Fibrosis. His nephew, Louis Jr. was born this past May and he too lights up a room with laughter and chocolate-eyed gaping. I am sorry to say that he too has been diagnosed with CF. Only this time, his doctors have given a wonderfully hopeful prognosis. They truly feel that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is close to a cure and that little Louis will get to enjoy it. I know they have to be right.
All right, and a list of heroes wouldn't be complete without Michael Jackson. I didn't bid on your bedazzled golf glove, but I do count you as one of the sexiest men to ever teach me ABCs.
Thank you to all blaze trailers of 2009.